Vacation was different this year.
The pandemic put an end
to plans made long ago.
We've stayed in seclusion
for months now,
except to work (which is essential)
and trips to the grocery store;
even those were spread out
as far as we could make them.
Isolation is hard,
especially for affectionate people
forced to keep their distance
from those they love.

I'm lucky enough to live where,
even though we were once
the epicenter of this modern day plague,
through wise leadership
we've slowed its movement to a crawl.
We are still at a distance,
but things are opening up slowly.
That's okay with me;
I was raised on
it's better to be safe than sorry.

I sit on the swing in my yard,
for once free of the neighbors' fighting
and the fireworks that have been booming
since Memorial Day,
and can hear the soft susurrus
of the summer breeze floating by.
There are birds flitting between trees
as the black cat who roams the neighborhood
pauses to see if I mind his crossing my path.
I don't and he seems to know that.

A week ago I traveled 180 miles
to surprise my daughter for her birthday.
It was one of the milestone ones,
and she was bummed that
all the big celebration plans
had fallen prey to Corvid 19.
She didn't have a clue
she'd be spending it with her family.
The surprise was joyous,
in fact you could say it was

Traveling by air or sea
to places unknown
wasn't required
to make our little vacation
a special one.
The simple pleasure
of being with loved ones,
of an embrace you never wanted to end,
of a kiss on the cheek,
was all it took.

The warm breeze
whispers in my ear—
Hold fast!
It won't be long till
you're together again.
I whisper back—

A neighbor turns his radio on.
Another starts his lawnmower.
I sit on my swing,
embraced by the summer breeze
and smile.

~Elise Skidmore ©2020

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